Yobe procures 3,000 tons of fertilizers to boost irrigation farming, others
By Njadvara MUSA, Damaturu
The Yobe State Government has procured 3,000 metric tons of fertilizers to boost irrigation farming in the Kumadugu River Basin and Nguru wetlands in the state.
The N1.5 billion NPK fertilizer; was to raise farmers’ incomes and livelihoods with increased productivity in the 2022 dry season farming.
Unveiling the procurements, at a Ministerial press briefing, at the weekend (Saturday), in Damaturu, the Commissioner of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dr. Mairo Amshi, disclosed that the dry season distribution of fertilizers farmers, is to attain food security and livelihoods of farmers.
She however; noted that only 40 percent of arable land in the state, is cultivated and irrigated for the production of various crops and vegetables, including maize and sorghum as the main staple food items of the people.
Besides, she added that the fertilizer is being subsidized at N13, 000 a bag at an open market sales to the general public.
“We’re also allocating the procured fertilizers to the State Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), farmers’ cooperative societies and the 17 councils,” she said.
On boosting large scale farming in the state, Dr. Mairo said that in 2019, the Buni administration purchased 40 units of tractors at the total costs of N882 million.
She said that each of the tractors, was subsidized at N11, 025, 000 to the large-scale farmers across the state.
According to her, the distributed tractors, are interest free and payable in four years to the state government to boost production in the agricultural sector of the economy.
Speaking on the challenges of farmers boost production, she said: “Due to the fluctuations in climatic conditions compounded with rising foreign exchange rates, dependence on rain fed agriculture could not be continued,” noting that without harnessing the arable lands in the river basin and Nguru and Wachakal wetlands, food security and farmers’ livelihoods may not be achieved next year.
Other measures to boost agriculture include a 20-hectre outreach station to be established by the National Animal Research Institute (NARI) in Damaturu, the state capital.
Besides, she added: “The N- CARES programme is also supported by the World Bank and is aimed at providing livelihood support to the most vulnerable in the state.”
The World Bank programme has targeted about 19, 040 beneficiaries living in 280 communities across the state.
She said that between 2019 and 2020, over 846,598 cattle, sheep, goats including cats were also vaccinated against various livestock diseases.